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R. David Reynolds
“Great Is thy Faithfulness” is not the result of some tragic event in Thomas Chisholm’s life but a powerful witness to his daily walk with Jesus as he experienced “morning by morning” new mercies from His Everlasting Father. Pastor Chisholm always trusted his Everlasting Father to take care of Him, sustain him, and provide for his daily needs. Just before his death in 1960 he wrote this power, personal witness:
My income has never been large at any time due to
impaired health in the earlier years which has followed me
on until now. But I must not fail to record here the
unfailing faithfulness of a covenant keeping God and that He
has given me many wonderful displays of His providing care
which have filled me with astonishing gratefulness.”
[SOURCE: Kenneth W. Osbeck, Amazing Grace: 366
Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions (Grand Rapids:
Kregel Publications, 1990), 348.]
Late one summer evening in Broken Bow, Nebraska, a weary truck driver pulled his rig into an all-night truck stop. The waitress had just served him when three tough looking, leather jacketed motorcyclists - of the Hell’s Angels type - decided to give him a hard time. Not only did they verbally abuse him, one grabbed the hamburger off his plate, another took a handful of his french fries, and the third picked up his coffee and began to drink it. How would you respond? Well, this trucker did not respond as one might expect. Instead, he calmly rose, picked up his check, walked to the front of the room, put the check and his money on the cash register, and went out the door. The waitress followed him to put the money in the till and stood watching out the door as the big truck drove away into the night.
When she returned, one of the bikers said to her, "Well, he’s not much of a man, is he?" She replied, "I don’t know about that, but he sure ain’t much of a truck driver. He just ran over three motorcycles on his way out of the parking lot."
1 John 2:4-2:5
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What Does Hope Do For Mankind?
Hope shines brightest when the hour is darkest.
Hope motivates when discouragement comes.
Hope energizes when the body is tired.
Hope sweetens while bitterness bites.
Hope sings when all melodies are gone.
Hope believes when evidence is eliminated.
Hope listens for answers when no one is talking.
Hope climbs over obstacles when no one is helping.
Hope endures hardship when no on is caring.
Hope smiles confidently when no one is laughing.
Hope reaches for answers when no one is asking.
Hope presses toward victory when no one is encouraging.
Hope dares to give when no one is sharing.
Hope brings the victory when no one is winning.
- John Maxwell from Think on These Things –
ON TOP OF THE FENCEPOST
Alex Haley, the author of "Roots," had an unusual picture hanging on his office wall. It was a picture of a turtle on top of a fence post. When asked, "Why is that there?" Alex Haley answered, "Every time I write something significant, every time I read my words & think that they are wonderful, & begin to feel proud of myself, I look at the turtle on top of the fence post & remember that he didn’t get there on his own. He had help."
That is the basis of thankfulness - to remember th...
O Lord, that lends me life,
Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.
A CHILD'S PERSPECTIVE OF THANKFULNESS
When asked to list what he was thankful for, one little boy wrote, "My glasses!"
"That's good," said the teacher, "they help you see better".
"No," responded the child, "I’m thankful for my glasses because they keep the other boys from hitting and fighting with me and the girls from kissing me."
This little guy clearly understood the meaning of gratitude.
A Thanks Offering For God's Grace
In this country, the entire nation celebrates Thanksgiving in November. Some celebrate by busily preparing food, watching football and gathering with family. These are great Thanksgiving celebrations. However, Christians have a greater blessing in the opportunity to give thanks to God. Whether people in this world want to recognize it or not, everything they own is given to them by the Lord and there is going to be a day when all will give an accounting.
Christians are thankful for God's saving grace.
Ephesians 2:8-10 says, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." This is one of the great evangelistic summaries in the Word of God. F.F. Bruce so wonderfully points out, "This is the watchword for the reformation theology: 'By grace alone, through faith alone, to God be the glory.'" The Bible teaches that everything Christians have comes by grace. "Grace" (charis) here affects man's sinfulness. It not only brings forgiveness to repentant sinners, but also joy from the Holy Spirit and heartfelt thankfulness to the Lord Jesus. This grace changes repentant sinners into new creations without destroying their individuality.
Those who live on this earth were marked by sin that came down to them as a curse from the time of Adam. It was decided and agreed upon by God the Father, Christ His Son and the Holy Spirit that Jesus would come to earth and redeem sinful mankind from willful sin. Christians have been saved by grace and they are sustained only by the grace of God. The precious children of God feast from the manna of God's Word daily, just as Mephibosheth did at King David's table. And there will be that day when all who have Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord will be eating at that geatest Thanksgiving feast, the "Marriage Supper of the Lamb of God." What a day that will be!
Does your life Express God's Grace?
YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’VE GOT TILL IT’S GONE
Our power is shut off, and suddenly we become thankful for electricity. Our garbage is not picked up, and suddenly we become thankful for the garbage collector’s weekly stop. A good friend dies, and suddenly we discover how much he meant to us. Our water becomes too polluted to drink and suddenly we appreciate having good water.
Why is it, Lord, that we take for granted the ...
Jacob Golden, Jr.
Last month Charlie Summers, the pastor of Seigle Avenue Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, wrote an op–ed piece for The Observer that I wish I’d written. Charlie stands in an interesting place. He’s got one foot planted among the poorest folks in Charlotte, for Seigle Avenue is in the heart of housing project ghetto. His other foot, however, is in Davidson, where he teaches at the college and rubs elbows with some of the wealthier, more well–educated, and powerful members of the Mecklenburg community. Let me read to you a little of his article:
What puzzles me is that our current national prosperity is coupled with such a meanness of spirit. Business is good, inflation is low, we are not at war (hot or cold). Yet instead of celebrating these good times with thankfulness and compassion, we find angry legislators pushing to cut off aid to dependent children. Talk show hosts belittling the poor for being lazy. Letters to the editor call for taller fences along the U.S. border and more prisons in the state.
The new “welfare to work” legislation from Congress is so cold it should be entitled “Here’s a Quarter, Call Someone Who Cares”... “I got mine. You get yours”....
Stock values, CEO compensation and sales of luxury autos have soared in recent years. But the wages paid to poor people for long hours of work have barely moved. Now the prosperous are going to cut off even the few benefits that make up the safety net in our nation. Do the math. A full–time job (a rare thing in itself for low–income people) at $6 an hour pays only about $12,480 a year before taxes. How is a parent going to support children on a wage like that? No wonder so many poor people have to work two jobs just to get by.
This current climate might be called an era of “Grab.” If gratitude leads to compassion then grab leads to resentment. Grab asks, “Why don’t I have more? Why does that person have a bigger car, a larger house, or a better pair of Nikes?” Grab, in its resentment, looks for someone to blame....and the poor are easy targets. The national mood has moved from a War on Poverty to attacks on the poor.
". . . before this month began to prepare our ground against seed-time. In the midst of April we began to set, the weather being then seasonable, which much encouraged us, giving us good hopes of after plenty: the setting season is good till the latter end of May. But it pleased God for our further chastisement, to send a great drought, insomuch, as in six weeks after the latter setting there scarce fell any rain, so that the stalk of that was first set began to send forth the ear before it came to half growth, and that which was later, not like to yield any at all, both blade and stalk hanging the head, and changing the color in such manner, as we judged It utterly dead: our Beans also ran not up according to their wonted manner, but stood at a stay, many being parched away, as though they had been scorched before the fire. Now were our hopes overthrown, and we discouraged, our joy being turned into mourning. To add also to this sorrowful estate in which we were, we heard of a supply [ship] that was sent unto us many months since, which having two repulses before, was a third time in company of another ship three hundred Leagues at Sea, and now in three months time heard no further of her, only the signs of a wreck were scene on the coast, which could not be judged to be any other then the same. So that at once God seemed to deprive us of all future hopes. The most courageous were now discouraged, because God which hitherto had been our only Shield and Supporter, now seemed in his anger to arm himself against us; and who can withstand the fierceness of his wrath. These, and the like considerations moved not only every good man privately to enter Into examination with his own estate between God and his conscience, and so to humiliation before him: but also more solemnly to humble our selves together before the Lord by fasting and prayer. To that end a day was appointed by public authority, and set a-part from all other employments, hoping that the same God which had stirred us Up hereunto, would be moved hereby in mercy to look down upon Us, and grant the request of our dejected souls, if our continuance there might any way stand with his glory and our good. But oh the mercy of our God! Who was as ready to hear as we to ask: For though in the morning when we assembled together, the heavens were as clear and the drought as like to continue as ever it was: yet (our exercise [in prayer] continuing some eight or nine hours) before our departure the weather was over-cast, the clouds gathered together on all sides, and on the next morning distilled such soft, sweet, and moderate showers of rain, continuing some fourteen days, and mixed with such seasonable weather, as it was hard to say whether our withered Corn or drooping affections were most quickened or revived. Such was the bounty and goodness of our God. Of this the Indians by means of Hobomok took notice: who being then in the Town, and this exercise in the midst of the week, said, it was but three days since Sunday, and therefore demanded of a boy what was the reason thereof? Which when he [Hobomok] knew and saw what effects followed thereupon, he and all of them [the Indians with him] admired the goodness of our God towards us, that wrought so great a change in so short a time, strewing the difference between their conjuration, and our invocation on the name of God for rain; theirs being mixed with such storms and tempests, as sometimes in stead of doing them good, it layeth the Corn flat on the ground, to their prejudice: but ours in so gentle and seasonable a manner, as they never observed the like. At the same time Captain Standish being formerly employed by the Governor to buy provisions for the refreshing of the Colony, returned with the same, accompanied with one Mr. David Tomson. . . Now also heard we of the third repulse that our supply [ship] had, of their safe though dangerous return into England, and of their preparation to come to us. So that having these many signs of Gods favor and acceptation, we thought it would be great ingratitude, if secretly we should smother up the same, or content our selves with private thanksgiving for that which by private prayer could not be obtained. And therefore another solemn day was set a-part and appointed for that end, wherein we returned glory, honor, and praise, with all thankfulness to our God, which dealt so graciously with us, whose name for these and all other his mercies towards his Church and chosen ones, by them be blessed and praised now and evermore, Amen."
(Primary Source document, "Good Newes from New England" (1624) Written by Mayflower passenger Edward Winslow, Good Newes from New England was published in London in 1624.)